"There have been far too many folks staying home the last few years"
Tom, respectfully...if they stay at home, even because they disagree with candidate selection...they ain't the real "Grassroots". You have to get out there to be "grassroots".
Brad, there is no empirical evidence that moderate Republicans lose more often than they win. Moderates win when they are the best candidate in that area. Just as conservatives win when they are. Running a conservative in a district that is predominately liberal/moderate is a surefire way of never appealing to enough of the electorate to win. I hate running candidates who can't win - its a waste of people's time and money.
As Republicans we should first be true to our values as Republicans, regardless of ideology. As a moderate I can easily live within the creed of the party without compromising my core beliefs.
Having more Rs than Ds, even moderate Republicans is critical for a variety of reasons. We're going into a redistricting cycle and even the most moderate Republican is still going to vote for a redistricting plan that doesn't damage Republican interests statewide. Democrats won't do that. We as Republican activists have a much greater chance of influencing a Republican legislator than we do a Democratic one. And on core issues - fiscal discipline, taxes and smaller government - even moderates agree. And in this economic environment, those issues are far more important than anything else.
If we refuse to be the big tent party that Ronald Reagan envisioned and created, we're going to find ourselves relegated to obscurity and ineffectiveness. And then you'll really see the country veer away from the image the founders intended.
W. Bradley Hill said:Brian -- Sandy is correct. While, in theory, there is nothing wrong with appealing to the broadest possible base, empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Moderate Republican candidates, and especially RINOs, lose more often than they win. Those that do win only pull the ideology of the party -- and the nation -- further to the left. We are now so close to a system of total government that it is unlikely that we will ever, as a nation, return to the government envisioned by our founding fathers.
As Republicans, we should first be conservative and hold our candidates to that same standard. Otherwise, what good does it do to elect them? Just so we can say that we have more Rs than Ds -- we win! No thanks.